When Severe Weather Approaches...

New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

A severe thunderstorm watch means conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. If you are in the watch area keep up to date of the latest weather information.

Storms can develop rapidly so there may be occasions when advance warning is not possible.

A severe thunderstorm warning means a severe thunderstorm has been observed or indicated by radar. If you are in the path or near thestorm, take immediate actions to protect life and property.

Follow these safety rules:

  • In open country, you should seek shelter and avoid trees which can be targets for lightning.
  • If there is no shelter, go to a ditch or culvert but beware of rising water which can cause flooding.
  • When indoors, stay away from outside walls and windows and go to an interior room on the lowest level.
  • Avoid using electrical appliances while the storm is nearby.
  • In mobile homes, you should leave and seek nearby safe shelter.
  • If swimming or on a boat, you should get to shore as quickly as possible and find shelter.

A thunderstorm is considered severe when it contains three quarter inch or larger diameter size hail and/or wind gusts of 58 miles an hour or greater. A severe thunderstorm also produces deadly lightning and very heavy rain which can lead to flash flooding.

Remember, with any severe thunderstorm there is always the possibility of tornadoes.